Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thoughts Reading Links

Humans become pets.

Our ancestors from 1700, observing us, would say that this has already happened. Most of our daily activities are for entertainment, including the self-improving, intellectual pursuits of reading about the world on those little computer-thingies and talking to each other about them. We have two, or even three sets of clothes. We eat a variety of foods we have not produced ourselves and more than we need for survival; we travel and communicate for pleasure not necessity, live in houses five times the size we need. Much of the "useful" work of the society for which people get paid handsomely is little more than providing education not strictly necessary (unless you are going on to provide more advanced versions of these entertainments of travel and technology), or better ways to provide these entertainments to each other. We delay even this "productive" labor until well into our twenties, and are allowed to cease productivity around 60. Were we able to be satisfied with the food, clothing, warmth, and shelter of even 1800, we would probably only have to work an hour or so a day. That is, if we allowed each other that freedom to live that modestly without looking down on those who do and pitying their children.

We used to have arts to express meaning, usually religious. Now we attempt to use them to provide meaning, which they cannot do. So become house pets of machines, with little meaning in our lives, happened without our noticing it.

Our military is a lefty-socialist example for us all.

Wow. So the stereotypical right-wing institution actually accomplishes what lefties promise, and Kristof concludes that it was because it was left-wing all along. The military led in desegregation; it has camaraderie even though it is hierarchical; it provides health insurance, just like most other businesses; it is more meritocratic than other institutions; it owns your ass in virtually slavery for four years when you sign up and subjects you to great risk. You have to work hard or you get in big trouble. Its pay scales are much lower than other industries and certainly than other government sectors. The thing which seems to make Nick happiest about the whole deal is that the generals don't make huge amounts of money, as the top people in entertainment, law, industry, or financial services. Because they are government employees.

Apparently Kristof believes that right-wingers actually like poverty, racial prejudice, and health care, so that when anyone actually solves these things they must have come from a lefty, somehow, somewhere. (Note: I actually like a lot of Kristof's human-rights reporting. His heart is in the right place. His head, however, is consistently seeking his rectum.)

I think we have, in a nutshell, the cause of our current political divide.


Ymar Sakar said...

The Left has an interesting and useful methodology for brainwashing people.

That, and not its particular ideology, is what enemies of the Left should study if they wish to defeat the Left.

Sam L. said...

Becoming pets: I just read comments yesterday that Frank Herbert's DUNE books were predicated on a society that had fought a great war about 10K years earlier to destroy all artificial intelligences.

This, I think, is another example of our tendency to willingness to become dependent on the "easy way".

Nicky Boy demonstrates my comment at "Tribes-Related". He's looking at something from too far away to see enough details to understand it--but is certain that his analysis is correct, he being a right-kind-of-thinker.